Acts 17.28, “It is in God that we live and move and have our being.”
I love the enormity of this statement. It is not talking about a religion we can opt in and out of. Nor is it projecting on what things look like after we die. It is also not referencing a specific moment in our history or future. It is a definitive description of the ever-present moment; in which, we are all living and all moving and all being, right at this very moment.
It is so hard to fully realize how we see our world, ourselves, and our neighbors very imperfectly. We thoughtlessly and blindly trust our sight and opinions. I realize that culturally the term “born again” has been reduced to meaning fundamentalist or conservative evangelist, but this understanding of our imperfect sight leads us to Jesus’ definition of being “born again”: Completely start over with how we’ve learned to live and move and be.
We’ve shaped our lives around our unquestioned ability to see (the sight I’m addressing is not merely with our eyes, but with our minds and hearts). Everything we do and perceive is filtered through this imperfect or uncultivated "sense" for Reality around us. We've never stopped to question, exercise, and mature in our ability to see. Then our lives our formed, built-up, and complicated on this shaky foundation.
The distractedness of our living, speed of our movement, and state of our being can create an insensitivity to the level of gentleness with which Jesus moves in our lives. God is so kind and humble that He can easily be overlooked and ignored. Zephaniah 3.17 describes this well, “In his love, he will be silent.”
This is why Jesus instructs us to withdraw from life to be with Our Father. “When you pray, enter into your room, and having shut the door, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you,” he says. When we slow down regularly enough, we become increasingly familiar with the greater reality in which we are all living, moving, and having our being. We need to intentionally and consciously make room in our minds and lives to grow in sensitivity to God’s gentle humility and love.